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Detail Description


What is a shellfish allergy?

An allergy to shellfish is a form of food allergy. If you have a shellfish allergy, you'll experience severe symptoms after eating shellfish. Shellfish are aquatic organisms that have a shell-like exterior. There are two kinds of shellfish:
  • Shrimp, crayfish, crab, and lobster are all crustaceans.
  • Clams, scallops, oysters, and mussels are mollusks.
Shellfish allergies are very common. Some individuals who have a shellfish allergy react to all shellfish, while others only react to specific varieties. The symptoms of reactions might be simple, like hives or a stuffy nose, or they can be severe and even life-threatening.

What is a shellfish allergy test?

The Allergy-Shellfish Panel measures an individual's IgE response to four distinct shellfish that are frequently linked to allergies. Crab, lobster, shrimp, and clams are some of these shellfish. The purpose of this IgE panel is to help with the diagnosis of food allergies in conjunction with other clinical information.

What is the use of the shellfish allergy test?

This test is used to determine if a person is allergic to shellfish. This allergy testing is specific to species that have shellfish-like exteriors. A shellfish allergy differs from other allergies in several ways. For instance, allergic reactions to shellfish might happen suddenly, often hours or even days after a person has eaten the allergen and displayed no other symptoms. Allergic reactions to shellfish can increase with each exposure.

What are the symptoms of a shellfish allergy?


Shellfish allergies are often the immune system's reaction to tropomyosin, a protein present in shellfish muscles. Histamines and other compounds are released in response to antibodies, attacking tropomyosin. The release of histamine causes a variety of symptoms that can range from minor to life-threatening. Shellfish allergies can cause severe symptoms.

After consuming shellfish, symptoms can take some time to appear, but they often occur within a few minutes. A shellfish allergy may cause the following symptoms:
  • Mouth tingling
  • Abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Congestion, wheezing and breathing issues
  • Skin responses like hives, eczema, and itchiness
  • Swelling of the cheeks, lips, tongue, neck, throat, ears, fingers, or hands
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting

In the most severe situations, a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis may happen. The immune system releases a barrage of chemicals in response to anaphylaxis, which could put you in shock. This condition requires immediate medical help. Anaphylaxis symptoms include:
  • A swelling of the throat, tongue, or throat stiffness (airway constriction) that makes breathing difficult.
  • Difficulty breathing, wheezing or choking
  • Shock, with a significant drop in blood pressure and a fast or weak pulse
  • Severe rash, hives, itching, or swelling of the skin
  • Diarrhea, vomiting, or nauseous
  • Unsteadiness, fainting, or dizziness

When should I see a doctor?

If you get anaphylactic symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. Or if you experience food allergy symptoms soon after eating, consult a doctor or allergy specialist and order a shellfish allergy test for yourself.

Can iodine cause shellfish allergies?

In some cases, iodine allergies and shellfish allergies are confused. That is because iodine is often found in shellfish. However, being allergic to iodine does not always indicate that you are allergic to shellfish. You won't experience any side effects from radiocontrast material if you have a shellfish allergy. (Radiocontrast material with iodine is used in some diagnostic imaging scans.)

Why do I need a shellfish allergy test?

If you have symptoms of shellfish allergy, you may require this test. In certain situations, shellfish allergies can result in anaphylaxis, a fatal allergic reaction.
If you have a shellfish allergy, you are more likely to experience anaphylaxis if you have;
  • Asthma
  • Allergic reactions to tiny amounts of shellfish (extreme sensitivity)
  • Food-induced anaphylaxis history
  • strong history of allergies in the family
An emergency epinephrine (adrenaline) injection is used to treat anaphylaxis. Always keep injectable epinephrine on hand if you are at risk of experiencing a severe allergic response to shellfish (Auvi-Q, EpiPen)

How is a shellfish allergy test performed?

Your doctor will look at your symptoms and physically examine you. One of the following tests will be carried out by your provider:

Skin-prick test

In this test, your doctor will place a small amount of the suspected allergen on your arm or back. He will then pierce your skin with a tiny needle to allow the allergen to pass through the skin. If the spot where the needle was leaves a red, itching bump, it is a sign that you have an allergy to the specific substance.

Blood test

LgE antibodies are identified in the blood during this blood test. IgE antibodies are created through the immune system in response to allergen exposure. During a blood test, a doctor uses a tiny needle to draw blood from a vein in your arm and then collects it in a test tube. The in-and-out motion of the needle may cause you to experience some minor discomfort.
The only way to determine if you have a shellfish allergy is to take a test. Schedule a shellfish allergy test for yourself now.

How should I prepare for a shellfish allergy test?

No special preparation is essential for this test.

Is there any risk attached to the shellfish allergy test?


If you take the following tests, you will face the following risks:

Skin-prick test:

Skin-prick testing may irritate. If your skin becomes irritated or itchy after the test, your allergist can suggest medication to help you feel better. A strong reaction to a skin test is not so common. Your allergist will carefully monitor you during this test.

Blood test:

Blood testing has a slight risk to them. You might experience a small amount of pain or a bruise around the particular area the needle went. However, these symptoms will go away in two to three days.


What do the results of the shellfish allergy test mean?

If your shellfish allergy test results show that you are allergic to shellfish, your healthcare provider might ask you to stop consuming food and avoid ingredients that can be harmful to you. These are:
  1. Abalone.
  2. Clams (such as cherrystone, littleneck, pismo, and quahog)
  3. Cockle.
  4. Conch.
  5. Oysters.
  6. Scallops.
  7. Shrimp and prawns
  8. Crab.
  9. Mussels.
  10. Octopus.
  11. Snails.
  12. Squid (calamari)
  13. Crawfish and crayfish
  14. Lobster.
  15. Mollusks.
If you have anaphylaxis, your doctor will give you an epinephrine device. Once your clinician has confirmed a shellfish allergy, you will most likely be given a prescription for self-injectable epinephrine (EpiPen®). You'll learn how to use it from your provider.
Your healthcare professional might suggest an antihistamine or corticosteroid if you experience minor symptoms.
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